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I Stop Somewhere

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After she is raped and murdered, fifteen-year-old Ellie Frias, who felt invisible in life, finds herself caught in Hollow Oaks, New York, observing other brutal attacks, the police investigation, and more.

256 pages, ebook

First published February 27, 2018

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About the author

T.E. Carter

2 books174 followers
I wrote some books. I hope to write more at some point but I've been dealing with stuff so it's slow. You can find me elsewhere doing my thing (see twitter and instagram links) or email me at tecarterbooks@gmail.com

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5 stars
989 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 709 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,992 reviews298k followers
March 28, 2018
The thing about my diary is that I lied in it. I obscured the truth. I never told even the empty space around me the whole story. I was afraid someone would find it, read it, know me. I wanted them to know a different girl. A better one.

Fellow book lovers— please can we not let this extremely powerful and raw YA book slip by unnoticed?

I'm sitting here with goosebumps along my arms from the experience of reading this book. It's been so long since I read a YA novel with such strong writing and such a distinct style as I Stop Somewhere; it's hard to believe this is a debut.

I would liken this to another dark contemporary about the ugly corners of teenage girldom - What Girls Are Made Of - which I also believe is greatly under-appreciated. Both books are largely introspective; they crawled under my skin and took me back to all the painful longing, insecurities, and anxiety of my teen years. It's almost an understatement to call this book "dark" or "disturbing" and I must issue a warning to any readers sensitive to scenes of graphic sexual abuse.

Many reviews will tell you that this is a book about rape culture, about misogyny, wealth, class, and privilege. It's true-- it is a book about all of that. But there have been many other books looking at those themes and, especially following the #metoo movement, there will undoubtedly be many more. No, where this book stood out to me was as an intricate portrait of a girl's mind. Ellie desires, hopes, dreams, and regrets throughout the story and I connected to her on a level I almost wish I didn't.
It’s impossible in a town like this. It’s impossible in any town. Girls disappear. Girls are brought to secret places to be used and nothing is done, because it’s how things are. Because they’re only girls.

The story moves between the past and present - the present being the aftermath of a horrendous crime that has left Ellie trapped. As someone who was always overlooked and ignored because she was a chubby girl from a poor family, it seems no one is looking for Ellie. She has to witness more and more assaults and hope that somehow someone speaks up so she can be found and others can be saved.

Through Ellie, Carter looks at a number of things. She explores the way society treats girls and puts their personality and lifestyle on trial in rape cases. She explores how easily we dismiss their bodies as things to be taken, cast aside, or consumed as desired. I particularly loved the references to the rhyme of “sugar and spice and everything nice”, calling us to ask what a girl is really made of and concluding, of course, that it's a whole lot of things.

It's a horrible book, to be sure. A horrible, painful, beautifully-written, necessary book. Read it. And when you're done, read the author's note too.

TW: Rape.

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Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
March 22, 2019
This book was so hard to read. So horrifying and infuriating, but SO powerful. Fuck. I'm a mess after finishing it. While I personally enjoyed this book and found it to be extremely moving, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tread with caution if you're considering picking this one up. It opens with a rape scene and never once shies away from the details. This book is very much meant to be shocking and I think that if you're at all triggered by anything revolving sexual assault, you may want to consider skipping it.

TW: rape, bullying, emotional manipulation, victim shaming/blaming
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,096 reviews17.7k followers
October 27, 2018
The first 38% of this book is torture porn.

This is my literal top pet peeve in literature, and I'm finding this really difficult to read and uncomfortable. Not in a not-good way. Little to no character development, mostly just meditation on the character's former life and there is actually no plot. I don't think I can remember the last time I read something with so little plot 38% in. There is nothing keeping me here except voyeurism, and my guess is the author hoped the beginning of the novel would thrive off this alone. This is not the stellar takedown of rape culture I wanted or needed, and it is nothing I want to read.

I Stop Somewhere’s lead character is very quiet and dependent, meant to be related to for her lack of self-confidence and need to be validated by a boy. This is a very true-to-life experience and one I’m glad is being represented and also one which I find really really hard to connect to. A lot of this is personal, for sure, but I’m not connecting to the lead character at all and I tend to find it really easy to connect to characters who are nothing like me.

In terms of plot… well, nothing really happens. There was one plot reveal I sort of thought was interesting for about ten seconds and then realized it made the story even less likely to conclude on a hopeful note. Fun fact: I only like torture porn when it ends on a hopeful note. There’s also a sort-of mystery set up about a side character named Kate’s secret. I am willing to bet at least thirty bucks it’s that she’s gay, and if so I sort of want to mention that using she’s-gay as a plot twist is pretty lazy in the year of our lord 2018. Again, no proof for this theory, but it uh… seems pretty obvious to me, a lesbian, based on her reaction to every mention of men 👀👀

I did really enjoy the potential for an exploration of gentrification, which is a topic I almost never see in YA lit, but this idea didn’t really go anywhere.

Again, I’m having a lot of trouble reviewing this or wrapping up my thoughts. The issue with this book is that it is brutal and nothing else. Nothing was really done with the first 40% of this book besides torture porn and one singular reveal. I know this is something many readers enjoy, but I am not one of them.

Arc received from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. (Jan 31)
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Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
December 6, 2020
“I’m not angry about being here. I’m not even angry it happened. Mostly, I’m just angry that it could. That is keeps happening.”

This book made me sad and also so fucking angry.
But it ends on a hopeful note and the writing was beautiful.

Set up like The Lovely Bones, Ellie Frias is raped and killed - watching her dad and the police investigation unfold. This also means she sees the other rape victims attacked in the same place where she was.

This book is brutal, the descriptions of sexual violence are incredibly hard hitting. As the police come closer to discovering that Ellie isn’t just missing - but actually murdered we get flashbacks of Ellie’s time in school.

Caleb Breward is popular, charming and knows how to get what he wants. To loner Ellie, who is constantly on the sidelines the she thrives on Caleb’s attention.

“I want to believe there was something that made him special. I want to believe that loneliness doesn’t just mess with our hearts.”

While Ellie and Caleb are dating, she doesn’t feel overly comfortable. They hardly talk, all he does is kiss and touch her. Is this what love is? But surely it’s better than nothing.

However, we know what is coming and it is truly heartbreaking. It was also god-awful to read about the way people respond to rape cases. That they deserved it. That they are just attention seeking. They should be lucky to get anything anyway. It sickened me. And it still sickens me because this is true.

People are horrified by murder but not by rape and I honestly do not see why.

4 stars to a raw and honest portrayal of sexual violence and fantastic characters.

“This isn’t a story of great romance or of true love. It’s simply a story of being lonely and how comforting it is to be called beautiful.”
Profile Image for l..
491 reviews2,136 followers
January 7, 2022
I Stop Somewhere hits hard. It’s not pretty—it has no interest in embellishing ugly truths—it’s not beautifully heartbreaking, and it’s clear from the very start that this book does not have a happy ending.

“The things we wish for don’t happen. This is how things really go.”

I’d told myself to stay away from books that deal with the subject matter of rape after All the Rage, What We Saw, You Against Me, and The Female of the Species (all extremely worthwhile books, which I highly recommend!) completely eviscerated me, but I am Evidence’s recent premiere made me realize that some issues are too important to ever avoid facing, even if doing so might be uncomfortable at best.

The truth is, books that talk about rape and rape culture will never cease to be important, and it’s terrible and horrifying how the latter is still perpetuated by media outlets focusing on things such as what the victim was wearing, if she “liked the guy who she now accuses of rape”, if she’s a “party girl” &c. And I Stop Somewhere did such a brilliant job of portraying how public perception can warp facts.

“The court of public opinion moves much faster than the law.”

People still mourn the “destroyed, and oh-so promising future” of perpetrators, instead of that of the girl who was physically and emotionally violated.

Parents still teach girls to wear less revealing clothes and act in a way that draws less attention to them so as not to tempt boys, instead of teaching those what consent* truly is; that no means no, and that *not being able, or of sound mind, to consent equals a no as well.

I Stop Somewhere is a reminder of what truly matters in life; it is filled with powerful and striking scenes, depictions of what it feels like to be young and try to separate yourself and your dreams and wishes and hopes from what is expected of you, of trying to find yourself, when you have no idea who “yourself” is.

It is dark, painful, and harrowing—but there is also a small sliver of light that seeps through its darkness.

“(…) you matter. Your life matters. Every day, you count and you change the world by existing. You affect the people and the places around you with the ripples you send out into the universe. And when it’s hard to hold on to hope, when the light feels like it can’t keep burning, there’s a world of people behind you whom you’ve affected. They’re there and they have your back, even if you can’t see them.”
Profile Image for Christian.
302 reviews334 followers
February 8, 2021
Trigger warnings for rape, sexual assault and murder

"She's so pretty. Of course she is. They're all pretty. I suppose it should be flattering, to be one of them. It means I'm pretty, too. That was all I thought I wanted. To be part of something. To be special.
I don't feel pretty. I don't feel special, either. I don't feel much."

Let me be perfectly clear - this is not a happy, feel-good book. By any means. It's incredibly sad, heartbreaking and dark, but at the same time, it is so incredibly powerful and, in a way, provides hope where it seems there wouldn't be any.

I had almost no idea what to expect going into I Stop Somewhere, but I was immediately drawn in by the myserious, haunting premise and the idea of treating myself to a heartwrenching, beautifully written story. Plus, that cover isn't too bad to look at, either. So I decided to pre-order it and see for myself what it was all about.

In case you want to know more than the cryptic synopsis gives off, I Stop Somewhere follows Ellie Frias, a 15-year-old girl who, after being repeatedly raped and later murdered, finds herself in a state in between life and death and is forced to witness her assailants committing more crimes and hurting more girls. We get to see the events that ultimately lead to her death, why she felt invisible her entire life, and how, as girls start speaking up about what happened to them, the small town she lived in proves that rape culture and victim-shaming is still all too real.

In case you're thinking this sounds like The Lovely Bones, that's what I was reminded of, too. But while that book, in my opinion, dealt more with a girl helplessly witnessing her family deal with her death, I Stop Somewhere focusses on what rape does to a human being, the pain it brings and which is amplified when the people around you say that "she was asking for it" and that "boys make dumb mistakes". As much as it made me sad, mostly it made me angry. It made me furious to a point where my eyes were burning with tears from all the rage I was trying to contain.

The dialogues in this felt way, way too realistic. And while that is very much a compliment to the author, it also just adds to my anger. Because, as topics such as rape culture and sexual assault have been more present than ever in recent media, I saw so many similarities, was reminded of so many times I had seen people actually say things like this:

"It was dumb, but hey, I'm a guy."

"These boys are watching their futures be dismantled slowly. Their potential careers. Families. Their entire lifestyle is being destroyed. All because some young women have a hard time being responsible for their own actions."

Or, a personal favorite:

"I don't like your tone, sweetheart."

Because it perfectly demonstrates that the issues we're still, to this day, facing do not only apply to women who were forced to go through sexual assault, but to women in general. Because, you know, God forbid a woman challenge something some arrogant, middle-aged asshole says. There were so many quotes that I could mention now which hit the nail on the head in terms of capturing everything that is so horribly wrong about how we go about these things, which is also due to T. E. Carter's incredibly beautiful writing. I'll definitely keep an eye out for any future works of hers, because damn, does she know how to express the things we struggle to put into words.

Another thing I particularly loved was how the women in this story stick together. Some of them have to get to that point first, but ultimately it emphasizes the importance of realizing that there is nothing to be gained from discrediting another women, since these are issues that affect each and every one.

Ellie was a very complex, very complicated main character. Even before her death, she immensely struggled with not feeling seen, of not feeling like she even existed. It was harrowing to see the guy who would later ruin everything abuse her weaknesses and make her feel like she was more than just a body to him. And even after everything, we still see Ellie fighting to come to terms with the realization that there was never anything special about their relationship. The whole situation was very intricately crafted and made everything so much worse.

The only aspects which sometimes confused me were the conditions of the state Ellie currently finds herself in. It was explained a bit better throughout the book, but I would still occasionally feel like I was missing Information or had skipped an essential paragraph. It wasn't that bad, though, because all that wasn't necessarily the core of the story, anyway.

There's many more things I could say. I wasn't surprised, for example, to see that at the end, questions for discussion were attached to the novel, because that is what Ellie's story demands. It demands attention, and it deserves it. Everyone coming forward deserves it. And in the end, everyone deserves a chance to heal. None of us should be an obstacle in that process, ever.

I hope I treated the topics on hand sensitively, and that I did this book justice with what I've said. If you took the time to read this entire ramble, thank you.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
903 reviews1,816 followers
April 9, 2018
"I didn't deserve this. Even the most confused and lost girl, even the most screwed up of us all, don't deserve this. Death isn't the consequence for making a mistake, it's the punishment we force on girls because they couldn't be good. Only girls have to die for wanting."

It's been more than a week since I read this book. I would have left this space empty but this story needs, scratch​ that, it demands a review.

So this is the story of Ellie. Ellie whose mother left when she was only a child. Ellie whose father who works hard to meet everyday needs but fails miserably to show his little girl that he loves her, cares for her. Ellie who is teased/ragged by almost everyone in the school. Ellie who falls in love with a rich, careless, opportunistic and a shallow guy.

But she doesn't know that her father loves her in his own way. She doesn't know that she is just a plaything for Caleb . He just wants sex while she wants to be loved, to be cared for, to be cherished, and a someone who would fill that empty space in her life that she desperately wants to fill.

She doesn't deserve to be abused, raped,
and murdered because she is lonely and no one cares about her. She doesn't deserve to be kidnapped because nobody will miss her. But that's exactly what she gets because accused is most likely to get away because no one even notice that she has been missing.

This is so real, and this is what that scares me. This is what girls faces all around the world everyday and it just keeps happening.

I mostly read to stay away from reality but there are times when it is impossible to ignore it.
Profile Image for Yusra  ✨.
249 reviews512 followers
Want to read
April 6, 2018
“disappeared long before she vanished”

that’s a line that’ll get me to buy a book, that’s for sure
Profile Image for chloe ♡.
394 reviews269 followers
March 2, 2018
I received an ARC of this book from The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

I thought I knew what is was like to be invisible. I thought I could disappear, but now, I fight to touch anything real and I vanish.

First off, the cover is gorgeous. It's probably the reason why I requested to be part of this blog tour

When I started reading this, I had no idea what was going on. It was kind of weird, and It was very confusing.

But then... when finally understood what was happening, I was hooked. I was rooting for Ellie and the other girls that are sexually abused, and hoped to see the abusers punished for their deeds. But, this book was really slooooow and I'm like, HURRY UP! ARE THEY GOING TO BE FOUND GUILTY BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW. But, I guess the slowness of the plot is actually a good thing - it made me think. This is my first time reading a YA novel about rape culture and sexual abuse, and it is outrageous how people dismiss the boys' act of sexual abuse as just boys being boys. I have never felt so many emotions at once while reading a book. I was angry, I was sad, I was heartbroken.

Still, in these times, I could see that there was hope. Some people, such as Officer Thompson and Cassie, try their best to help the girls. Officer Thompson cries with the girls who are sexually abused, and the victims form a support group and share their experiences with each other. It is heartwarming to see how women empower other women during hard times.

Dying was my art. It was my achievement. I was a pointless girl in a pointless town with a pointless life. Dying was the point; it made me someone.

I could relate to Ellie's thoughts - she feels like a nobody, and I know that feeling all too well. I just wish that she could become a real person so I could hug her and tell her that she matters. That she deserves to be loved and heard. That she is not pointless at all. In the end, she finally figures that out, and I felt so happy for her.

This book touched me. Especially this paragraph in the last chapter:

You can break a girl. You can destroy several parts of her, but a girl is made up of so many things.

There aren't nursery rhymes this complicated. When you ask what makes a girl, they tell you it's sugar and spice and everything nice, but it's not. It's regret and wishing and summer kisses and falling in love and being hurt and heartbreak and fear and fishing with your father and wearing the wrong clothes and getting drunk because you feel so bad you want to die. It's hoping and the memory of sunlight and how you can't stop lightbulbs from burning out. It's all the big things and the little things in between. It's living and it's dying.

A girl is not, as the nursery rhyme goes, sugar, spice and everything nice. She is, as TE Carter wrote, all the big things and the little things in between.

Overall rating


This book is so good. It took me a while to figure things out, but I really enjoyed reading it. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Rana⚡ .
82 reviews114 followers
April 12, 2018
*i want to clarify that this book focuses on Rape and its not just a minor topic*

"No matter how bad we are, no matter the mistakes we make, we exist because we make them. We exist because we screw up and we’re wrong and we’re broken, but those are all the things that make us real. Those are all the things we are"

Can someone please tell me why when a new book is published and it's talking about a few teenagers finding out that they have powers and decide to save the earth gets all the hype while a book talking about a serious subject such as rape gets dismissed like that?? Can we please not turn a blind eye to those kind of books knowing that this is more important than any fictional world because this was REAL.This may be a sensitive subject, but it deserves to be acknowledged all the same.

All you need to know about I stop somewhere is that it starts with a girl in a state of being some kind of a ghost (it wasn't really explained thoroughly) and it's written in 2 timelines the first showing what's currently happening and the second of what happened in the past and what lead to this tragic event.Every few days she keeps seeing other girls being brought to the place and suffer like she did and she doesn't know how to move on.

It also shows the obstacles we need to go through daily such as the "but you're just a girl it doesn't matter" sentence do you know how many people actually say that comment or how many times someone told me "Why are you working so hard or being so ambitious just leave it to men"
why are womem always treated as the weakest link?? and why are most men always angry when women start standing up for their rights?
This world will only be a better place when we start treating each other as EQUAL.

I know this is a raw book but wouldn't it be better to recognize the truth than live in a lie?
Profile Image for Emir Ibañez.
Author 1 book645 followers
March 31, 2022
Esta historia está narrada por el "fantasma" de Ellie, una adolescente de quince años que fue violada y asesinada por su novio y el hermano de éste. Mientras la policía la está buscando, su fantasma nos va contando cómo sigue siendo testigo de los abusos que siguen perpetuando estos chicos y también nos va contando los hechos previos a su asesinato.
Es una historia que te deja destrozado, que no es agradable de leer, que te hace llorar más de la cuenta, pero alguien tenía que escribirlo. Siento que es un libro muy necesario y, pese a su crudeza y el horror de lo que cuenta, me parece muy bien que esté destinado a un público juvenil, para que puedan ir leyendo sobre temas jodidos, fuera de las distopías y los romances, y entender que la parte fea también forma parte de un todo, que puedan encontrar una voz con la que sentirse identificados si están atravesando por una situación similar, o alguien que conocen, y éste tipo de libros son necesarios...
Profile Image for alice.
270 reviews335 followers
December 31, 2017
Absolutely riveting and heartbreaking. Trigger warnings for rape, sexual assault, murder, violence. Full review to come.
Profile Image for Paige.
372 reviews552 followers
January 21, 2018
This is literally one of the best books I've ever read in my entire life. I'm literally sitting here sobbing and trying to pull my thoughts together. This is an exquisite masterpiece.
Profile Image for Kristyn - Reading to Unwind.
252 reviews19 followers
March 9, 2018
This book contains the topic of rape culture, it might be a trigger for people.

This book is about Ellie who disappeared after being captured and assaulted. Ellie tells us the story of what is happening and how she got there in her own words.

At first when I was reading I didn’t love the back and forth between past and present I was completely confused on where Ellie was, but as the book goes on I found it to be the perfect start for this book. We go back and forth into Ellie’s memories before she was taken and get a look into where she is currently. The author leaves it somewhat vague and grows into more details as the story transforms, which was also driving me a little crazy while reading. I wanted more information up front, but in the end, it was worth it. The author did a great job building the story and Ellie's life.

Ellie was trying to reinvent herself for high school and by doing this she wanted to make herself blend in more versus being bullied. Ellie reaches out to a neighbor to reinvent her look, which is an interesting relationship that we get a look into. Ellie doesn’t consider her a friend, but the amount of interaction really does show that they weren’t friends that confide in each other.

I loved that we got a look into how Ellie felt about not having a mother growing up as well as a look into the relationship between Ellie and her father. Ellie breaks down the relationship between her and her father while she is narrating because she doesn’t have much else going on so it feels like a deeper insight. The author does a great job with the pacing of the story it kept me hooked and wanting to keep reading. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Ellie in the end.

The story does take a darker turn in the book. I found it a little shocking, but it worked with this story. I did like that we got to see the entire story through from the beginning until the end. I did feel complete once I finished this book.

I would suggest this as a weekend read. I found it hard to put the book down I wanted to try and piece together what was going on in the book.

I received a copy of this book from the Fantastic Flying Book Club for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book.
Profile Image for Agustina Uliarte.
169 reviews23 followers
February 26, 2019
RESEÑA EN EL BLOG: https://bookstwins.wordpress.com/2018...
💔 Este libro es hermoso, pero doloroso...
La manera de narrar y la escritura de la autora son hipnotizante 😍 pero lo que cuenta es 💔 ... Me partió el corazón muchas veces.
Pero además los sentimientos que despertó en mi... Había momentos felices, otros donde me molestaba, me enojaba, la ira 😡
Solo puede decir que súper recomiendo este libro 💓
Profile Image for Jano.
690 reviews408 followers
August 13, 2018
Reseña completa: http://elcaosliterario.blogspot.com/2...

El libro cuenta la historia de Ellie Frias, una joven que se encuentra atrapada entre dos mundos tras una brutal agresión. Ella no fue la primera víctima, y ahora ve cómo sucede una y otra vez. El problema es que nadie busca a una chica que siempre pasó desapercibida.

Antes de nada debo advertiros de que este libro es que es muy duro. No es una lectura fácil, probablemente sentiréis mucha impotencia mientras lo leéis. Es dolorosa y cruel pero, a su vez, necesaria.

La autora decidió que la historia esté contada desde el punto de vista de Ellie en todo momento y es un gran acierto. Se ofrece la perspectiva de alguien que está observando todo desde cualquier parte y deseando que la encuentren. De alguna manera es una forma de pensar que, cuando alguien desaparece quizá no lo haga del todo y pueda seguir sufriendo. Es un supuesto que me parece muy interesante. Mezcla la parte más cruel de "El sótano" con "Si decido quedarme", todo ello con muchas diferencias y tomándolo únicamente como una referencia.

La historia nos muestra lo que viven los personajes ante este suceso: las lágrimas, la impotencia, el desconocimiento, los miedos... Pero lo que más me impactó fue el capítulo en el que se narra la agresión a Ellie. Está escrito de una manera tan dura y real a la vez que es escalofriante. Este es el libro más doloroso que he leído nunca y está escrito de una manera que destroza por dentro en cada capítulo y genera mucha impotencia. Y aunque suene contradictorio decirlo, esto es precisamente lo que hace que sea tan bueno.

En el libro se muestra algo que por desgracia es una realidad y es la desconfianza hacia la mujer en este tipo de casos, siempre cuestionada pese a ser la víctima.

Ellie es una chica con una autoestima muy baja que muestra su fragilidad continuamente y eso la convierte en un personaje tan especial que es muy fácil empatizar con ella. Ella buscaba su sitio y no lo encontraba. El mensaje que deja de quererse a uno mismo por encima de todo y la importancia de sentirse amado son otros de los temas del libro que me han gustado mucho.

En resumen: un libro bastante duro con un tema que invita a la reflexión y narrado desde una perspectiva muy interesante. Nunca había leído un libro centrado en este tema y me ha dejado destrozado. Es demasiado real.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,476 reviews1,894 followers
March 25, 2018
I finished I STOP SOMEWHERE right before having to go out to a party. Talk about emotional whiplash. But in the end I'm glad for it, because leaving the house after reading this helped to get me out of my head.

Carter's book is.. the only word I could think of yesterday as to describe how I felt was : painful. In all sorts of different ways. This book made me ache. This is such a hard read, but it's also written so beautifully and with really amazing insight and honesty and heartbreak. You just fucking ache.

Wishes grow inside of you. They attach themselves to your bones and make you ache when you try to ignore them. I hate everything about wishing. I hate how I look back at the moments that made me. I hate remembering, and I hate wishing it had been different. There were so many yeses that should have been nos and so many nos that should have been inferred.

The less you know about this book the better. That being said, because of this book's subject matter I would not go about recommending this. But if you can handle the darker things, the awful, then by all means give it a go. The realities of these situations, mixed in with the unrealities, are nonetheless so so real and raw and hard. I wish I'd had time to write this review yesterday because now I'm feeling all these things again and ugh. Mad, sad, angry.. this book will make you feel.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,541 reviews234 followers
February 23, 2018
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Oh my feels! My emotions are on overload right now. This was so heartbreaking, and one of the biggest reasons why, is because things like this really happen. A really powerful story, that was beautifully told.

I thought I had prepared myself for this book. Violence is always tough for me, but this one gutted me, while simultaneously touching my heart. The focus of this book was definitely assault and rape culture, but there were also many other themes associated with being female that were explored.
They targeted us because they thought we were weak. But even the weakest girl has power inside of her. She maybe just needs a little guidance to find it.

Ellie had been the victim of endless abuse in middle school largely because she hit puberty before her peers. When circumstances forced her to attend a new high school, Ellie's goal was to blend in just enough, so as not to be targeted in that negative way any longer. She accomplished that mission, flying under the radar, until she caught the eye of a rich, popular older boy named Caleb.
The way it took something good, something beautiful, and slowly ruined it without her knowing.

I saw a lot of "younger me" in Ellie, and therefore had massive amounts of empathy towards her. Between the bullying and her mother abandoning her, to her feelings of invisibility and loneliness, my heart ached and I wanted to reach out and hug her. Loneliness can drive people to make poor decisions, and Ellie just wanted to be wanted and wanted to fit in so badly, that she was willing to accept less than she deserved.
It's hard, when you're not a whole girl to begin with, to lose even more of yourself.

The story was told so well. I really loved that it unfolded from Ellie's POV in a retrospective fashion, because as she related her tale to us, she also reflected on what transpired and the decisions she made. She also often contemplated "what makes a girl". Every time she started a "what makes a girl", my heart ached a little, because her musings were so sad. I don't necessarily disagree with the way Ellie felt based on her personal experience, but I am heartbroken that any girl has to feel this way.
It takes a lot of things to make a girl, but breaking her? It only takes a few pretty words and a crooked smile.

This book was quite heavy. How could it not be! But, Carter did give us some lovely things in the way of a few characters. Ellie's dad was not perfect, but still wonderful. He was left to raise a toddler on his own. They didn't have much money, but when he could, dad would buy little things he thought a girl would like. I never doubted how much he loved Ellie, and most importantly, she knew he loved her too. Ellie's dog, Fred, was another gift Carter gave us. It just gave me some comfort to know that Ellie had someone in her corner.
I'd always imagined being wanted. Of someone loving me. Choosing me.

This story was heartbreaking and powerful. T.E. Carter told it in an honest and beautiful way, and I think this book can definitely be used to start some important conversations.
These are all the things that make a girl -- and it starts with just that one piece to put her back together again.

Overall: An incredible debut, which left made me angry, frustrated, but mostly sad about how young women are treated. Get the tissues out people! You're going to need them for this one.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for ✨faith✨trust✨pixiedust✨.
399 reviews383 followers
May 14, 2018
I received this eARC uncorrected galley from Feiwel & Friends on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

A warning before I begin. This book focuses on very heavy topics that may be triggers for some readers. If you have suffered sexual assault or other abuse, I would be wary about reading this, as there are graphic scenes.

The Writing

From the very first page of this book, I was completely drawn in. From the first line, the first word, I knew I was reading something that mattered, something that was so important. The writing is almost lyrical in its beauty. It feels like something haunted and true and private and sacred. It feels like the poem of a soul. I couldn't put it down. I couldn't sleep. I was thinking only of this book and the precious, necessary story told within. The symbols in this book were consistent and poignant; they carved themselves in my heart. Houses, ghosts, zombies, lost girls--all caught between life and death, between existing and not. I was highlighting everything, writing each quote into my soul.

The Characters

Ellie: Our narrator is an average, invisible girl. She does little with her life. She doesn't even know who she is. She wants to be the definitions of "girl" she sees in magazines, the type of girl that is noticed, but in a good way, a way that means you are important and lovable. Unfortunately, that wasn't to be. Instead, she is used and discarded by the boy she thought she loved, thought she needed. She reflects on her Before and her After, and what she learns about what it means to mean something is truly powerful.

Caleb (and by extension, Noah): The Breward boys are the very embodiment of cruel, malicious entitlement, of confident fake-smiles and the love of pretending to be human. They take what they want and expect to get away with it--they have, after all, been getting away with everything their entire lives, as has their father, an equally despicable person.

Cassie and Thompson: These two women become the powerful female support and voice that all young girls need. They are what this world needs.

Kate: She is the friend that could have been.

Alex and Gomes: Alex, Ellie's father, is a hardworking single father who loves his daughter unconditionally, but is powerless to stop what happens to her, not because of anything he did or didn't do. Gomes, the detective on Ellie's case, learns that every girl is worth saving.

Gina Lynn: The mean girl who saw the light . Honestly, Gina was definitely one of the most surprising characters. She wasn't at all what I expected, but I'm glad she was.

Ellie's mother, Sierra: This woman is the opposite of Cassie and Thompson. She is what women shouldn't be, what people shouldn't be: ultimately self-serving and utterly apathetic.

Gretchen and the survivors: These girls are the candles whose wicks were doused but keep on burning, even if it's just an ember. They may flicker, but they still burn, and their flame can light the way for others to stand tall.


This was so much more than a book about rape. This was a book about loss and forgiveness (of yourself and others), about blame and where it lies, and what it means to matter. It was about what makes a girl. I felt like I was a part of something reading this. I felt personally touched and changed. I've experienced my own #metoo moments, though not as severe as in this book, but it struck a chord in me. I was left feeling strangely optimistic, though it doesn't have happy ending by any means. Nevertheless, I went away with the message (a message that has been a constant thought in my life recently, and a constant help as well) that the world is still full of beautiful things. That the horrible and the bad don't discount the tender sweet things. That life, even lost, is still wonderful.
Profile Image for Tala .
192 reviews90 followers
February 24, 2018
This is heartrending and haunting.

There’s just no other way to describe it. No, it wasn’t a fun or enjoyable book to read, by any means, but I’d read it again and again. I hope everyone gets the chance to pick this one up, because (and I don’t get to say this very often) everyone should read this book.

I STOP SOMEWHERE details Ellie’s before-and-after of being sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by her “boyfriend”. It’s the how and and why, essentially: how she was lured, and why she was chosen specifically, out of several others.

Oh, and please note (because this confused me endlessly and I spent most of the time going WAIT WHAT, so I wouldn’t want that to happen to you:) When this book opens, Ellie is dead. And I mean, literally, not metaphorically dead. As in need-to-be-buried dead. She’s now basically a “ghost” detailing what lead up to her murder. (This took me so. long. to grasp, so I figured I’d clear that up right now).

Ellie’s character is developed through flashbacks to her “live” years and the time spent after. It’s a bit odd, initially, but you can easily get used to the style. In fact, I believe this non-linear characterization works extremely well, aesthetically speaking. It allows the reader to see the before and after shots side by side, as opposed to comparing the final page to the first one. This style is fitting, in a way, to the overall theme and message of the novel as a whole.

The depiction of the tragedies of the other girls is handled deftly, allowing ample time to discover others’ perspective and the effect on them. I particularly love how Ellie, repeatedly, goes into discussions about “what makes a girl”, whether it’s the objective or the abstract qualities, what other think, what she thinks, etc. It’s a recurring theme and a welcome one.

The writing is truly lovely. It’s supple and it’s flexible and it has this ... rhythm, so to speak. It’s quite rare a style, actually; the closest writer I can find that writes like TE Carter is perhaps Marie Rutkoski, who writes in sentence fragments layered with full ones. THAT is what gives their writing this noticeable rhythm. I’m so glad I finally put my finger on what makes the prose special. It felt like deja-vu until I finally realized exactly what makes it tick.

This writing, though, needs to be seen to believed. Hold on a sec while I get you your quotes.

One of the factories, right on the river, is a brick behemoth. The age on it shows. Spray-painted tags, broken windows, padlocks and chains designed never to be cut or opened. Where there had to be a sign, an announcement of what this was, of what creation came from the hollow vastness of it, is now a darker patch of brick. Just a hint.
Once upon a time, there was.
That’s the theme of this town.

See what I mean? Or this:

It’s a dangerous companion, loneliness, and it scares me now, as it takes my side by the river. I can’t last an eternity with no other friend.

Or even this (which is my favorite):

She should be with her parents, and he should be with his daughter. But when the world breaks you into pieces, sometimes you find what’s left scattered among other people’s broken parts.

And this needs to be said, so: The title is lovely and fitting. I mean, the book also begins by quoting Walt Whitman, so. I’m endlessly impressed here.

All in all? A haunting narrative, a realistic lead, and lovely writing. I’ll definitely be coming back for more of this author’s works, because I simply love her style.

Thank you, Feiwel and Friends, for the ARC!

Profile Image for Rachel Solomon.
Author 11 books6,345 followers
July 2, 2017
Harrowing. I knew this book would break my heart - but I wasn't prepared for it to shred it. TE Carter's writing pulls no punches; it's unapologetic and gorgeous and raw. Ellie is such a painfully relatable protagonist. We all know an Ellie, and I'm sure many of us have been an Ellie at some point in our lives. I STOP SOMEWHERE should be required reading for high school students.
Profile Image for Miniikaty .
571 reviews123 followers
August 18, 2018

Reseña completa: https://letraslibrosymas.blogspot.com...

Estamos ante un libro juvenil que toca temas muy delicados que por desgracia están muy presentes hoy en día. T.E. Carter nos hace crítica de la sociedad actual, de la cultura de la violación, del bullying o del machismo a través de "Te espero en algún lugar" y la historia de Ellie y aunque lo hace con suma sutileza no anda enmascarando nada y muestra la cruda realidad.
Por lo que no es un libro para todo el mundo aunque estaría bien que se leyera y se diera a conocer más para ayudar a mentalizar.

Todo está narrado desde la voz de Ellie, nos hace partícipes de sus recuerdos y sentimientos lo que a su vez logra que la comprendas a la perfección y simpatices con ella, aunque al principio me costó luego la entendí y sufre con y por ella. Asimismo los capítulos van alternando el pasado con el presente, para llegar a conocer toda la historia y cómo llegó a desaparecer la protagonista. El ritmo por otra parte resulta lento en un principio, luego va mejorando y llega un punto en el que no quieres soltar el libro para saber toda la verdad (aunque en ocasiones tenía que cerrarlo y tomarme un respiro porque la impotencia que sentía podía conmigo). Así que podéis imaginar que este es uno de esos libros con el que tienes las emociones a flor de piel, la autora logra volcar entre las páginas todo lo que siente la protagonista y acabas por hacerlos tuyos.
Profile Image for Erin.
Author 5 books42 followers
July 18, 2017
Oh man...THIS BOOK!!!

It does so many things startlingly well -- so well that the author makes them look easy. As a writer, I can assure you they are not. I'm not going to list all of them here because this review would turn into a tome of praise, but I want to talk about at least a few.

First (and this is going to be the thing many reviewers focus on), this book captures the devastating effects of rape culture and the insidious hold it can have over a small town. And it does so in a way that is both wholly realistic and believable, and also beyond horrifying. Really think about that for a sec. In part, it speaks deeply to the real-life pervasiveness of rape culture, which is why we NEED books like this one. But it also speaks deeply to the incredible balancing act the author pulls off here. Anyone can write about something horrific. But it takes a special kind of talent to write about something horrific with an eye that is both compassionate and unflinching. To employ vivid details that make a reader realize the horrific things being depicted can (and do) happen anywhere and everywhere, all the time, to girls who are not fictional. And to provide just enough light that reading this makes you want to DO SOMETHING instead of just curl into a ball and hide yourself away for all of eternity.

The book also captures Ellie's deep and complex need to both blend in and be noticed in a way that blows my mind. Lots of YA writers (myself included) have tried to capture this quintessential teenage hunger and I've never seen it done as well as it is here. Even when Ellie is looking back and chiding herself for a series of errors that shouldn't have been but turned out to be fatal, as a reader you go, "Oh, but I get it! I get why!" Because Ellie's emotions and motivations in this book aren't just static things sitting on the page. They pull you in and, if you're an adult, they will put you right back in that teenage headspace. They'll put you right next to Ellie as she tries to navigate a toxic little world that couldn't care less about her well being until it's far too late.

Highly recommended for fans of dark YA with characters and relationships drawn in loving, painstaking detail.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,340 reviews227 followers
March 19, 2018
Can you disappear if you’re already invisible? Blending in feels better than being bullied to freshman Ellie Frias. But when Caleb, a boy from the right side of the tracks notices her, Ellie isn’t sure the wants to be part of the background anymore. But being a rich kids from a prominent family doesn’t make Caleb one of the good guys. And sometimes being invisible is better than being nonexistent.

I STOP SOMEWHERE is one of **those** books that makes you feel from your toes to the top of your head. Atmospheric. Bleak. Haunting. And of so powerful I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Ellie at the end of the book. Sweet, naive Ellie oozed loneliness. Abandoned by her mother as an infant, her father worked hard to put food on the table. He loved his girl, but didn’t always know what to say to her. Friendless, Ellie looks to her older neighbor Kate, who has just graduated from high school, but Kate has one foot out of their sad broken town, leaves for college and doesn’t stay in touch.

Wealth, privilege, class, misogyny and power are central themes that permeate throughout I STOP SOMEWHERE. Ellie isn’t the only one Caleb and his brother Noah victimize, young women like her, who don’t really matter and just want to be loved.

TE Carter hits a grand slam with her debut novel. Her words, so elegant they dance off the pages, has made Carter an automatic preorder.

Readers sensitive to details or who don’t like dark books may not like I STOP SOMEWHERE, it’s never easy, but always real.
Profile Image for Brittany (whatbritreads).
642 reviews1,101 followers
September 13, 2020
This book was so haunting, but such an important read. I literally couldn’t put it down, I read it all pretty much in one sitting. The writing was absolutely stunning and broke my heart in all of the rights was. It is by no means an easy book to read, there’s no happily ever after, but it deals with the issue of assault in such a well-rounded manner.

Despite not necessarily being a coming of age novel, this did feel very relatable in terms of growing up being a girl who is hyper-aware of her body and how people perceive you differently as you grow up. How you have to learn to fit into your new skin, to try and deal with how that changes how people look and talk to you. Though this no longer relates to me as an adult, I remember being that same teenage girl always wanting to be ‘prettier’ for everyone elses sake, to be noticed, to be wanted.

It deals with a lot of different emotions - from guilt, to sadness, to complete blind rage. It encapsulates how damaging and severe this kind of thing is to not just the victim, but everyone else who is left behind or struggling with the aftermath. I think it was very apt how the book highlighted not all perpetrators are visibly ‘bad’ people - they’re out neighbours, classmates, boyfriends.

Definitely a lot to unpack in this book, and I cannot do it justice.

I don’t even know how to accurately review this - I would urge everyone to read it and make up their own minds. Be warned it is very graphic though and may be difficult for some to read, look after yourselves and don’t read it if it may upset you. Though this was a work of fiction, it is by no means far off from what happens to girls everywhere constantly.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,462 reviews352 followers
August 2, 2022
I feel really guilty rating this book 1 star but I can't bring myself to rate this any higher. I understand that what this author really wanted to do was show us the ugly and brutal world of rape culture but unfortunately they contributed to it instead. This is not a positive message for survivors of rape. This is a book that wants to tell teenage girls that if they're raped, no-one will believe them. Their lives will be torn apart and every single thing they do will be used against them.

Fellow reviewer Elise pointed out that a good 38% of this book is torture porn and they're right. Except the other 63% is torture porn too. To be honest the whole thing was just torture to try and read.

Trying to put my hatred of the way rape culture is used here, the rest of it really wasn't good writing either. I kept forgetting characters because they weren't real people, just a name. Very little happens for the majority of the book other than Ellie reminiscing over her and Caleb's relationship and slowly explaining what happened while meandering around her hometown. The main thing about Ellie was that she wanted to be pretty and popular and other than that she was just... there.

I'm not going to rate this 5 stars just because it's a subject that's rarely talked about and it was a difficult read. It fucked with my head sure but other than the graphic descriptions of rape not a lot of the story will stick with me. Honestly, the sooner I can get this book out of my head the better.

Extra note: I've seen people constantly mention The Lovely Bones and 13 Reasons Why in relation to this but I think that the novel that is like this book is Living Dead Girl. A truly horrible book.

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Profile Image for Chelsea.
316 reviews2,791 followers
February 4, 2019
This is one of those books that needs to be held in the same esteem as The Lucky Bones, Sadie, Girl Made of Stars, and Moxie. It’s enraging, hard to stomach, infuriating, heartbreaking and so very important. It really pushes the “Hey, what can I say? I’m a guy!” idea and the “she was asking for it” concept. And while I was furious for a majority of the time reading it, it should have that effect to really drive the point home. This isn’t just a scary/nightmarish fictionalized story, this is reality for a huge percentage of girls and that is terrifying. Highly recommend this if you can stomach it.

Trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, self harm, abuse of all forms, murder.
Profile Image for Hayley Chewins.
Author 4 books127 followers
June 29, 2017
Reading this book wrecked me -- and I mean that in the best possible way. It is an unflinching examination of rape culture, a poetic portrait of an invisible girl, and an unputdownable mystery. Don't miss it.
Profile Image for Amelinda Bérubé.
Author 3 books171 followers
June 2, 2017
Poetic and searing snapshot of rape culture at work in a decaying town. Visceral with both rage and tenderness and impossible to put down.
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